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Money SmartsMarch 11, 2022
Nowadays, it's easy to skip the crowds and weather at the dealership and shop for a car from the comfort of your own home. You can use your favorite device to find the right vehicle for you and even secure your financing.
But where should you start and how can you avoid some common pitfalls? Read this online car buying guide for answers to these questions and more. Your dream car is only a few clicks away!
You can choose from a range of car buying sites, including Cars.com, CARFAX, CarMax.com, Carvana.com, and Vroom.com. Just spend a few minutes on each site and see which one you like best.
Most car buying sites will let you search by vehicle type then compare different models to see which one will give you the most value for your budget. You can save your favorites until you come up with a shortlist of potential cars.
Sites like Edmunds.com, ConsumerReport.org, RepairPal.com, and JDPower.com provide lists of the most reliable vehicles in different categories. The rankings may be based on views of the site's writers and editors, or user reports.
Reliability reports may include information about:
Once you've got your shortlist together, you can use a service like CARFAX to get a vehicle history report so you can be sure the description of the car is true.
Your report may include information like:
Haggling over prices may be less common today than in the past, but you might want to get those skills into practice when buying a car. The best way to gain the upper hand in any price negotiation is to go into the deal with plenty of information.
There are certain times of the year, month, and week that can work in your favor when buying a car. Generally speaking, the deals increase as the year goes on. There might be fewer discounts at the start of the year compared to the summer months and the holiday season.
An auto loan is a popular and convenient way to buy a car. Before you hit the apply button, keep reading our online car buying guide to make sure you're up to speed on a few key points.
Here's what you need to know about auto loans:
You can get an auto loan from a range of financial institutions, including your local credit union. To make sure you get the best offer in town, gather information about a few different auto loans then compare the rates, terms, and conditions.
Here's what to look for when comparing auto loans:
It's a good idea to get pre-approved for your auto loan before you get serious about choosing a car. That way, the dealer will take you seriously as a buyer and you'll know exactly what purchase price and monthly payment you can afford.
When you apply for your auto loan, you might need to say if you want to buy a new or used car, and indicate how much money you want to borrow. Then you lock in the details when you find your car. Click below to start shopping for an auto loan!